Montmorency tart cherries are a rich source of phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, p-coumaric quả cherry, quercetin and gallic acid. These are potent antioxidants that help the body to fight free radicals and other harmful issues. According to published research (Seeram 2004) from the University of California, the antioxidant of ellagic acid is a potent antioxidant to help fight the body depilating issues.
Another naturally occurring antioxidant is melatonin. In fact, tart cherries are only a few of the foods that have naturally occurring melatonin. This potent antioxidant helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms and help with natural sleep patterns. Researcher from the University of Texas Health Science Center uncovered that Montmorency tart cherries contain high amounts of melatonin. The levels of melatonin are actually higher than normally found in the human body. This means the consumptions of cherries can help improve your sleep patterns.
Each gram of sour cherries contain 13.5 nanograms (ng) of melatonin per gram (Burkhardt 2001). The body produce melatonin in the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. In addition to helping the body get more regular sleep, this antioxidant may reduce inflammation, protect the vascular system and reduce ischemia (Tan 2001, 2003)
Researcher from the University of Texas Health Science partnered up with food scientists from St. Marianna University of School of Medicine in Japan in 1995. The combined group found feeding chickens (the subjects of the experiment) a diet rich in plants containing melatonin actually raised levels of melatonin in the blood. These results suggest that ingesting melatonin from foods is absorbed into the body and enters generation circulation. Thus, allowing the antioxidant to attach to tissues throughout the body. (Hattori 1995)
The researchers concluded that eating a handful of Montmorency sour cherries will increase melatonin levels, thus improving the body’s ability to get more sleep and potentially other health benefits.
However, since fresh Montmorency sour cherries are very perishable and only available during the few week harvest season in the summer, many have turned to other types of cherry-based products. These include dried tart cherries, cherry juice concentrate and tart cherry powder. According to the book entitled Official Tart Cherry Health Report here are the melatonin levels for different cherry products:
- Fresh Cherries: Up to 13.5 nanograms per gram
- Cherry Juice Concentrate: Has up to 10 times more Melatonin than the raw fruit.
- Cherry Powder: 135+ nanograms per gram (used to make cherry capsules, cherry powder and cherry extract)
So finding the fresh cherries can be a challenge so I have included a few sources for you to get fresh cherries during the summer harvest: Stonewater Farms, Overlook Ridge Farms and Farm Fresh Market.
If you are looking for cherry juice concentrate and the tart cherry juice a reliable source is Traverse Bay Farms. They are located in the heart of cherry country in Michigan. If are looking to getting a good night’s sleep enjoy some tasty cherries grab some fresh ones during the harvest or drink a glass of cherry juice or take some cherry capsules.